County employment numbers stay strong

St. Lucie County’s not-seasonably-adjusted unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent from October to November, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state released its last employment report in 2018 on Friday, Dec. 21.

The region mirrored the state and nation in holding steady in non-agricultural employment from October to November. The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate held at 3 percent. With seasonal adjustment – a statistical tool to account for normal employment fluctuations – the state’s unemployment dropped 0.1 percentage point to 3.3 percent from October to November.

The nation’s not-seasonably-adjusted rate was at 3.5 percent. With seasonal adjustment, the nation checked in with a 3.7 percent unemployment rate.

The CareerSource Research Coast region, which includes Martin, Indian River and St. Lucie counties, also head steady with a 3.5 percent not-seasonably-adjusted unemployment rate from October to November.

Among the three Treasure Coast counties, Martin holds the proverbial gold with a non-agricultural unemployment rate at 3 percent. Indian River follows with the silver at 3.6 percent. St. Lucie and Martin counties form the Port St. Lucie Metropolitan Statistical Area, MSA. The MSA accounted for 152,400 jobs last month, an increase of 5,600 from the previous November.

The industry sector that gained the most jobs in the MSA was trade, transportation and utilities. That sector picked up 1,300 jobs in the two counties. Education and health services followed by adding 1,100.

Leisure and hospitality had a strong showing by adding 900 jobs in the MSA from November to November. Mining, logging and construction added 800. Professional and business services added 500 jobs to the area. Manufacturing 300. Government also added 300 jobs. Financial activities and other services, which includes things such as auto mechanics, both added 200 jobs. The information industry sector was unchanged over the year from November to November.

Taken together, industry sectors had a 3.8 percent improvement on the year.

In a press release, outgoing Gov. Rick Scott said “every county in Florida has experienced a drop in the unemployment rate since December 2010.”

Over his tenure as governor the state has added about 1.67 million private-sector jobs. About 251,000 were added from November to November.

The national labor force participation rate held at 62.9 percent from October to November.

The national and state unemployment rates are calculated using a variety of methods. Among them are telephone interviews with workers. Those that are able to work and report not having jobs, but looked for employment in the previous 30 days, are counted as unemployed. Discouraged workers – those who are able to work and want jobs, but have not sought employment in the previous 30 days – are not counted in the unemployment figure. Many call this “shadow unemployment,” and it’s inherently difficult to track due to variations for why people don’t seek jobs.

The state will release the last employment report for 2018 on Friday, Jan. 18.

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